Half of dog owners say their pooch frequently tries to steal their food, study finds

happy dog in front of a food stall
Margaret Davies

Burgers, biscuits, and sausages are among the top meals or snacks that cheeky canines often pinch off their owner’s plates.

Sausages, biscuits, and even roast dinner, are some of the most popular human foods – that naughty dogs will try and wolf down, research has revealed.

Burgers, chips, pizza, and hot dogs are other foods commonly stolen by cheeky canines from their owner’s plates – while crisps, sandwiches, and steak round out the top 10.

A survey of 2,000 dog owners found that nearly half (49%) frequently catch their pooch trying to eat their meals – with food being stolen off their plate an average of three times a week.

And 42% say this increases during the summer months due to enjoying more meals outdoors – with sausages, chips, and ice-cream regularly consumed by dogs during the warmer season.

However, more than half of those polled (56%) say they worry about the impact this could have on their pet’s health and nutrition.

To help solve this problem, tails.com, which commissioned the research, has launched its “Fetch of The Day” food van on Brighton Beach.

The “first of its kind” van aims to help owners keep their pets’ nutrition on track – by serving nutritious doggie takes on British seaside summer classics, such as Barking Burgers, Seaside Salmon Cones, and Frozen Watermelon Bites.

A spokesman for the tailor-made dog food brand said: “We’re all guilty sometimes of slipping our pups a morsel of human food – but too much can be really harmful.

“It’s often laden with fat and sugar, meaning a little snack to us might be the same as half a small dog’s daily allowance. Some foods can even also cause serious harm, inflaming the pancreas or causing toxicity. “With “Fetch of the Day”, we wanted to provide dogs enjoying a day out at the beach with a range of healthy, delicious, and 100% dog-friendly seaside grub.”

When asked if they ever offer food to their pet, 69% admit they do because it makes the dog happy and helps reduce food waste (40%), while 26% give in too easily when their animal begs. And 55% admit their dog is more likely to end up eating human food at an informal gathering, such as at a barbeque or the beach.

Whilst at the seaside, a fifth have had their sausage roll eaten by a dog, while 17 per cent have lost out on some fish and chips.

And during a day out with their dog, 40% claim their pet will eat less healthily than usual – but 35% of those polled, via OnePoll.com, would like to find ways to change this, to ensure their pet eats better when out and about.

Going for long walks, taking trips to the beach, and visiting parks are the top favourite things owners like to do with their dog in the summer. And on an outing to the coastline, splashing in the water (53%), digging in the sand (32%), and playing fetch (31%) were voted as dogs’ favourite things to do. More than half (56%) even claim their pet is happier when playing among the sand and sea.

The spokesman for tails.com added: “We know every dog is different, which is why we’re proud to offer food and treats designed to cater to a whole range of different doggie needs. ““Fetch of the Day” provided us with the perfect opportunity to share some nutritious ways to treat your dog this summer.”

Top 20 human foods eaten by dogs:

1. Sausages 2. Biscuits 3. Roast dinner. 4. Burgers. 5. Chips 6. Pizza 7. Hot dogs 8. Crisps 9. Sandwiches 10. Steak and chips 11. Meatballs 12. Ice-cream 13. BBQ 14. Breaded chicken 15. Chicken burgers 16. Sausage and mash 17. Fish and chips 18. Steak pie 19. Salmon and veg 20. Cakes

(Story source: The Mirror)

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